Bungee Jumping

January 11, 2008
By Allison McCarthy, Palatine, IL

It was a perfect day. The sun was shining in the bright blue sky, the air was warm, but not too hot, and there was a nice breeze. We couldn’t have asked for a more superb day to go to one of our favorite places, Six Flags Great America, which I had four free tickets for. As we made the forty minute drive to Gurnee, my friends Mike, Matt and Katie, and I told jokes in the car, looked through the 06-07 Fremd High School yearbook, and listened to music. As we arrived closer to the park, I could see many of the rides towering over the trees along the highway. My excitement started to build, and I knew this was going to be a great day.
It was not very crowded when we arrived, and it stayed that way the entire day, despite the amazing Sunday weather. The lines were short, and we never had to wait more than 25 minutes to get on a ride. This called for going multiple times on some of our favorite rides, including Superman and Raging Bull. We navigated from ride to ride quite easily; I knew the park like the back of my hand. Throughout the day screams and laughter, the rushing sound of roller coasters, and the music played over the intercoms filled my ears. The smells of food and funnel cakes mixed with garbage and dirt wafted into my nostrils. People rushing by, carrying prizes they won or pushing strollers with young children; enormous rides that seemed to touch the sky and all of the bright colors surrounded me. There was so much to take in, so much to enjoy, so much animation.
Later that afternoon, after we had gone on many rides, Katie and I decided that we wanted to go bungee jumping. It was as we were standing in line for the American Eagle, which is right next to the bungee jumping, that we became determined that it was something we wanted to experience. After our ride on the roller coaster, we walked over to the bungee jump desk, signed up, got our ticket, and began to wait for our turn. Excitement, and nervousness filled my body as we anxiously waited for what seemed like forever for our turn. Finally, the time came, and we walked back to the desk to pay our $25 each and gear up for our flight.
“Oh god, I can’t believe we are doing this!” exclaimed Katie, as a bungee jump employee fitted and tightened her suit. After we were both dressed and ready to go, the employee asked in his British accent, “Alright, which one of you girls is going to pull the release cord?”
“She is!” said Katie, pointing her finger at me.
“Uh yeah, ok I’ll do it,” I replied. He explained to me what I had to do, and then we were off. The two of us walked up a ramp to the platform, and had to wait once more for the people in front of us to finish their jump. As we started walking across the platform to get hooked up, the excitement and nervousness from earlier began to build even greater. We climbed up onto the lift, and it rose upwards. Three guys began to hook us up to all of the necessary cords and bungees. They told us to fall forward, and as we did, I expected my face to hit the floor of the lift, but we were suspended in the air, lying on our stomachs. The employees continued to secure us and then double checked everything when they were done. I could feel Katie next to me, shaking, and they told us to link arms on the way up, and then let go when we began our flight.
Finally, it was time. The lift began to move downward, however we were moving upward, being raised to the top of the rope. The entire ride up there all we could say was, “Oh my god, Oh my god, we are actually doing this.” We got to the top, and as I looked out before me, I could see almost the entire park down below. All of the different rides, all the tiny people were laid out in front of me. It was a spectacular view of the park, and I wished that I could have had my camera with me. I came back to reality as the guy down below said on the speaker, “Alright, after I count to 3, pull the release cord and get ready to fly. Ready, one, two, three.” I pulled the release cord, and down, down we fell. Freefalling toward the ground, air rushing past our faces, piercing screams of excitement and joy. Then the bungee tightened, and we swung forward, as if we were on a giant swing. Back and forth and back and forth we swayed, each time getting less high than we did before, but laughing uncontrollably the entire flight. As we continued to lose speed, we had to grab onto a loop to come to a stop. When we had finally stopped moving, the lift rose up to meet us, and we began to get unhooked and detached from everything. We stood up, and the people that were next to go up asked us how it was. “It was amazing!” I replied. “Definitely worth it!”
Walking back to the desk to return our suits, all we could say was, “Oh my god that was so much fun!” and “I’m so glad we did that!” Mike and Matt had watched us bungee jump, and afterwards we met them by the entrance. “You guys are insane,” said Mike. “Yeah, we know,” replied Katie, “but it was so amazing, it was definitely worth the money!”
We went on a few more rides, and then decided that we had had enough of Great America for one day, and that it was time to go. We left the park, and headed over to Uno’s Pizzeria for dinner. It was just what we needed. A nice comfortable booth to relax in and eat a good meal before the drive home. The drive was very quiet, because we were all too tired to talk. That night, when I got home, I went straight to bed and had a great nights sleep. It had been a perfect day.

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